“Street Fighter 6 (or VI?),” the latest fighting game and the first of the three big fighting games to be released this year, stands alongside “Mortal Kombat 1” and “Tekken 8.” Of course, developed and published by Capcom, it marks the first Street Fighter game since 2016. Most audiences, including myself, were disappointed with “Street Fighter V’s” initial release, which was pretty bare bones as far as content. But with “Street Fighter 6” it really feels like an apology or a mission that Capcom really had to make it up to the gamers by offering a plethora of content right from the start. There are an overwhelming number of things to do in the game. It revolves around three main hubs that you will spend your time in.
The most unique one, World Tour, allows players to create their own unique character using an extensive character designer. The possibilities are limitless, ranging from cool and stylish to creepy and weird, there are some awesome and horrific sites to see out there. In World Tour, you also undergo basic training by Street Fighter character Luke, (who happens to be the sole character displayed on the game’s cover art). Besides training, you can freely roam in an open-world map called Metro City, where you can engage in fights with anyone you encounter, leveling up your character. While it may seem strange to fight random people in the city, the game’s logic suggests that the inhabitants are naturally tough, and fighting is a part of their lifestyle. It’s silly and dumb, but a funny convenience that ultimately is for the better for the game. The campiness is reminiscent of older Capcom titles, such as “Dead Rising.”
This title does incorporate a “games as service” element, featuring various currencies, some of which may require real cash. However, these are primarily used for cosmetic items to enhance your character’s wardrobe. As you wander through the open city, leveling up your character, you’ll also encounter other veteran Street Fighter characters and you’ll be able to learn their move sets, which you can eventually use to further customize your own character. The World Tour story is filled with fetch quests, but they serve as excuses to travel the world and meet your favorite characters. The grind of fighting gangs and random folk to level yourself up and keep improving your avatar/character is surprisingly addicting, I found myself spending the most time in this hub.
The second main hub, “Battle Hub,” is an online-only content where players can take their created characters into a blue-hued arcade arena. Here, you’ll come across other gamers and their created characters, engaging in fights or spectating other battles. It does a cool job of creating a sense of community and competition in a cool esports looking environment. Since this game just launched, I was expecting to deal with server or performance issues, but to my surprise I dealt with none.
The third main hub, “Fighting Ground,” encompasses all the traditional modes of a fighting game. From “Versus Mode” to “Online Battle” (offering casual and ranked modes) and “Arcade Mode” (each character’s story mode with cool visual novel elements), additionally, there’s a “Training Mode” for practice and an intriguing “Extreme Mode” that introduces unique rules for winning rounds. “Street Fighter 6” really does provide a comprehensive experience. That gives you so many choices on how you want to tackle playing. Alongside the abundance of modes, this game introduces a potentially controversial but different control setting called “modern controls.” While classic controls cater to hardcore gamers, “modern controls” simplify the gameplay, making it much more accessible for casual gamers. It does simplify making combos, and I’m curious to see how the fighting game community will react to this setting. While spectating other fights in the Battle Hub I noticed there was a pretty healthy divide on gamers using the two different control options.
The game impresses with its smooth gameplay, a trademark of the “Street Fighter” franchise, and performs flawlessly at launch, which is a rarity in today’s gaming landscape. The upbeat and impactful music keeps the positive vibes flowing. “Street Fighter 6” sets a new standard and establishes itself as the benchmark for future fighting games. With its powerful and content-packed offering, it presents a formidable competition for “Mortal Kombat 1” and “Tekken 8,” leaving them with a steep climb ahead. Overall, this game is a triumph and it’s a must-play for both hardcore and casual gamers who have been looking for a fighting game to ease themselves into the genre.
For more information, visit: STREET FIGHTER 6 | CAPCOM
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